Lighthouses on Lake Michigan
State with Most Historic Beacons
I love to photograph lighthouses so in 2008 we took a trip to Lake Michigan. I was amazed to find out that there are more lighthouses along the coast of Michigan than any other state in the US. We were able to visit six lighthouses during our visit and each one was totally different from the one before.
In this lens I will give you an overview of the lighthouses we visited and a look at some of the photos. If you would like to read more about any particular lighthouse a link will be provided to the lenses on the specific lighthouses.
photos by mbgphoto
The second lighthouse was in St. Joseph, Michigan. It was similar to the one in Michigan City. It was first built in 1832 on the North Pier. It was one of the first two lighthouses built to aid navigations on Lake Michigan
The current lighthouse replicates the original and dominates the city's North Pier. It is still in operation today to aid vessels as they navigate Lake Michigan.
Michigan City Indiana
East Pier/Breakwater Old Michigan City Light
The first lighthouse that we visited was in Michigan City, Indiana. This lighthouse was built in 1835 and sits at the end of a long pier. You can walk out on the pier up to the lighthouse and I enjoyed my walk out along the pier. All the way I took photographs and was able to capture the lighthouse from several vantage points. The lighthouse looks great from a distance but close up has quite a bit of graffeti on it.
The Michigan City Lighthouse was built in 1835. It now serves as a maritime museum open to the public.
We next visited the lighthouse at South Haven. This lighthouse was constructed in 1872 and has been welcoming mariners to South Haven for 135 years. It was a very windy day when we visited and I was able to capture some great photos of the waves splashing half way up the lighthouse.
The current tower was reconstructed of steel in 1903. It stands 35 feet tall and it was electrified in 1923.
My favorite lighthouse was the one in Holland, Michigan. It is nicknamed Big Red and is a three story bright red building that is very unique in appearance. Although we could not get right up to Big Red, I was able to photograph it from across the harbor. I got some great shots from the sand dunes and was able to capture the lighthouse framed by colorful fall leaves.
The three-story Holland Harbor light is on Black Lake and was built in 1907. It is covered with red steel to protect it from the heavy pounding it gets during rough weather. The current light tower was added to the top of one gable in 1936. Big Red sits on a pier that runs along the south bank of the channel connecting Lake Macatawa to Lake Michigan.
South Pierhead Entrance
I really enjoyed seeing the lights at Grand Haven. They consisted of two lights that sat on the pier, an Inner Light and Entrance Light Station. They are connected along the pier and to the shore by a long catwalk on which the public can walk out. At night they are lit up with lights all along the catwalk.
The original lighthouse was built in 1839 at the mouth of the Grand River. In 1905 the current 52-foot inner tower light was consturcted. These may be the most recognizable of all Michigan lights.
Sterling Silver Lighthouse Charm - lighthouse jewelry
This beautiful lighthouse charm is the perfect addition to a lighthouse enthusiasts charm bracelet.
I just added a lighthouse charm to my bracelet and I love that it reminds me of my lighthouse visits.
South Pier Light Station
The last lighthouse we visited was in Muskegon. It was the tallest of the lighthouses and looked very striking with it's dark red color. I was able to get a photograph of it with it's refection in the water.
This lighthouse was consturcted on Lake Michigan's shore in 1851. It was replaced in 1903 when the harbor pier was completed. The 53-foot red conical steel tower is equipped with a fourth order Fresnel lens. The lens has been replaced by a modern 300 millimeter acrylic optic. a 70-foot South Breakwater Square Tower was built in 1930.
Information for this article was gathered from a brochure from the West Michigan tourist association.
Bring your lighthouse decor outdoors with this wonderful birdfeeder. I have one hanging in my garden.
Have you ever visited a lighthouse? Do you love reading about lighthouses and looking at photos? Tell us about your interest in lighthouses.